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May 14, 2004

Passion of the Berg

Uncensored Nick Berg Beheading Video!!!

I'm doing it purposefully by putting 'Nick Berg' in the caption, but on the whole I'm a bit disgusted with the link whoring going on.

The blogosphere is what it is, and little about the latest turn of events is changing what we are collectively. Most of us got our start blogging about the war in Afghanistan and Iraq anyway, but what we have become is much more than that. The blogosphere is a realization of what many of us computer folks have been wanting since the days of Fidonet: a way to connect intelligent people with things to say that aren't dumbed down by television, or exploited for dollars by universities. So I think it is inevitable that whatever interesting events go on in the world, there will be fascinating commentary to be found here. Commentary is one thing, hosting this video is something else.

It was none other than Prince who said of today's foul-mouthed rap stars, you eventually get the audience you deserve. So when some bloggers start complaining about the idiot comments they start getting, perhaps they'll look back at this moment with regret. I said before and I say again don't look at the video. It's repulsive and disgusting, and it doesn't tell us anything about jihadists that we didn't already know. Although I'm certain many have been shocked out of complacency by its gut wrenching qualities, it doesn't inform, it enflames.

Like every writer on the net, I am tempted to take advantage of whatever is popular and interesting even when I think it has been talked to death. All that goes into the Obligatory Seriousness Department. But I refuse to host this propaganda. People who need to see it can see it where they can, there's always someone to accomodate appetites. But I can't do that in good conscience and I really think bloggers are doing themselves a disservice by making hay of its publication.

I don't believe that anyone who watched 'The Passion of the Christ' by Mel Gibson, learned more about what Christianity is all about. Despite the huge spash it made worldwide, the film wasn't made of the stuff that changes minds. People who realize that should also realize that the Nick Berg video is not where to go to become informed about what we're involved in overseas. The same is the case for the Abu Ghraib pictures and the Rodney King video. What you really need to know is behind the scenes.

I have every expectation that the blogosphere will redeem itself from this grisly diversion. It remains primarily a written medium, and good writing will out. So I call on all bloggers with the good sense to call Gibson as a sensational propagandist to make the same call on the filmers of Nick Berg's tragic execution. Don't Host It.

Posted by mbowen at May 14, 2004 01:00 PM

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Berg from Vision Circle
Cobb notes (quite rightly) that no one should link to the Berg video. It's funny....I'd never even thought about seeing it. Not even for a second. Kind of like The Passion. I am probably one of the few writers not... [Read More]

Tracked on May 15, 2004 08:31 AM

Comments

What say you regarding the argument that, while this is Al Qaeda propaganda, it's actually stupid propaganda that will steel the resolve of Americans, and give them perspective regarding the true nature of our enemy?

Posted by: Patterico at May 14, 2004 02:03 PM

Actually, hosting the video really wasn't the issue. Jeff Quinton was #1 on Google and I was #2 on Google for "Nick Berg." Neither of us had the video and we both got swamped with traffic.

WizBang had the video and got even more swamped, that's true, because many of us linked to the fact that he had it. I haven't seen it and have no desire to, but it's not surprising that people do want to see it.

Posted by: James Joyner at May 14, 2004 02:08 PM

Ah, another Fidonet refugee.. BinkleyTerm, fossils, tossers, zone mail hour, geonetting wars, ... them were the days...

Posted by: Steve D at May 14, 2004 02:15 PM

I agree with that, but I don't think the proof of that lies soley with a video. I agree with whomever it was who said that the bombing of train stations in Spain is actually better proof of what these maniacs are capable of.

I think we owe it to people to make them think about the nature of the enemy, not react to what they do. Hosting the video in some ways says 'this is the ultimate proof', but it is not the ultimate proof. Likewise looking at pictures from Abu Ghraib is not the ultimate proof of what America is about.

It's propaganda in a spin cycle. It doesn't help. Again, I know it's going to be seen and people are going to want to see it. I wanted to see it, and once I got a glimpse I checked myself.

Like the argument that says Gibson's film helps or hurts Christianity, I don't believe it is the message of the film itself that does so, but the fact of the controversy. In the end when you start thinking with any depth and clarity on the subject you end up wishing you could get the images out of your head. I did anyhow.


"Whoever battles monsters should take care not to become a monster too, for if you stare long enough into the Abyss, the Abyss stares also into you."
Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil, chapter 4, no. 146

Posted by: Cobb at May 14, 2004 02:15 PM

Abu Ghraib is clearly not representative of what the U.S. is about, as evidenced by the U.S.'s own reaction to it. This murder is what al Qaeda and the assorted rogue elements of Iraq are about. Those who understand that, don't need to see this digusting film. Those who don't, do.

Posted by: Xrlq at May 14, 2004 03:30 PM

i would like to see the video. but i cant find it. where can i go to locate it. if you dont want to see it thats fine but dont decide for me please.

Posted by: fbc at May 14, 2004 06:01 PM

I can't find the video of nick berg anywhere, please give me a site that i can view this video!! Thanks ST

Posted by: shannon thomas, jr at May 14, 2004 07:29 PM

Iwould like to see Nick Berg video but can't find it

Posted by: Sonja Epley at May 14, 2004 08:03 PM

I watched the video from curiosity; it is horrific. I did not have an adequate sense of the reality of the murder until I saw it, and I think that's the only reason one should view the video. The video shows five masked men standing behind Mr. Berg. Mr. Berg's hands are bound and he is still and quiet, and the man directly behind him is reading something in Arabic (at least I think it's Arabic). Then after several minutes of that, Mr. Berg suddenly begins screaming, then the men, also yelling, attack him and behead him with a knife -- not by a swift blow with an axe or a sword, as I'd pictured it before seeing the video, but by sawing with a large knife. The men then hold Mr. Berg's head up for the camera, and the video shows several close-ups of Mr. Berg's head in different positions. I described the contents of the video here because reading a description like this would have prevented me from watching the video, and I advise anyone reading this to avoid watching this video.

Posted by: Michelle at May 14, 2004 10:39 PM

If that video isn't enough of a reason for us to leave Iraq now, what will it take? BUSH got us into this mess, but refuses to get us out.

Posted by: wayne dlugitch at May 14, 2004 11:04 PM

I watched the video and I advise anyone with a little heart not to watch it, this guy has a family that is going through enough right now. Just think if this was your brother or son you wouldn't want his murder all over the internet for everyone to see. Show respect for the Berg family if you get it in an e-mail delete it if everyone would do this the video would disappear just like it appeared.

Posted by: Gail at May 14, 2004 11:37 PM

You can see the video at military-secrets.com or at Backcountry Conservative. It is gruesome and very sad. Not for the faint of heart.

Posted by: Zoltar at May 15, 2004 02:32 AM

I saw clips of the beheading, and it was enough... those who did this will meet Ala.. when he sends them to hell.

remember that these fools do not represent the Iraqis and muslims, but they do shame them..

cheers

Posted by: Rob at May 15, 2004 07:01 PM

It's been suggested a lot over the last few days that the video is a fake - for information check out the Yahoo groups novelty-lifeboat and SiriusIntelligence.

This isn't a two party war at all. There are moderate Westerners, moderate Muslims, and also nutcases on both sides intent on bringing about the apocalypse, whether through actual acts of terror and humilation or by faking material, whether it's the Nick Berg video or the UK prisoner abuse photos. You can't trust anything you see.

Posted by: Steve D at May 16, 2004 02:56 AM

i have a peekaboo and everyone is worried about this nick berg thing, i hate to here it but, my peekaboo is worser.

Posted by: john at May 17, 2004 07:57 AM

John, i do agree with you, but you have to understand that this is a bigger problem then what you have. I do have a peekaboo too. Why dont people ever talk about peekaboos anyway? man that is some bs cuz!!!!

Posted by: George F. at May 17, 2004 08:03 AM

John, i do agree with you, but you have to understand that this is a bigger problem then what you have. I do have a peekaboo too. Why dont people ever talk about peekaboos anyway? man that is some bs cuz!!!!

Posted by: George F. at May 17, 2004 08:04 AM

The Nick Berg video is an obvious fake. Very obvious. Even my wife thought it was a fake as soon as she saw it on the Japanese TV news, and she told me about it. So I downloaded a 5.77mb version of the video, rather long and boring, but definitely a fake. Looks like the guys at the Abu Graib prison made it with two different digital video-cameras (one was set on 24-hour time). The sound at the end with the Allah Akbars is dubbed in, so is the screaming. Oh, and most telling of the location where the video was made, Nick Berg is wearing a standard US-military issued orange jumpsuit, and he sits in an identical white plastic chair as appeared in the Abu Graib prison photos. The guys in masks are of course unidentifiable, but they're all overweight, which is very odd for an Iraqi but very normal for an American, and they have very fair skin. I'm sure the torturers & prison guards at the US-controlled Abu Graib prison can speak fluent enough Arabic to make a speech. Oh, it's also obvious that Nick Berg was already dead when they did the pretend beheading (corpses don't struggle and neither did his, plus there was almost no blood - which there should've been). His head must've already been cut off by something a lot sharper than that knife. There was a guillotine still at Abu Graib prison. I doubt that he was deliberately killed by US soldiers, far more likely that somebody just decided to use an already dead body for a bit of propaganda. It's a very amateurish fake, and that maybe part of the reason why the full version of the video is not shown.

Posted by: Mike Febers at May 17, 2004 08:37 AM

This is in response to Mike Febers comments about believing the video is fake. I thought the same thing at first, but as you exam the video, you can clearly see Nick Berg shrug his right shoulder, move his head and toes. I believe no one will ever no for sure if this was a fake video or not. If it were supposedly made by the military, it would look and sound really bad on the military because they state in the video that they did this because of what the military did to the Iraq POW's. What sense would that make??!!

The worse part of the whole video is thinking what could have possibly been going on in that poor boy's mind. I am sure he was terrified because he didn't know what was going to happen to him.

This film definitely defines the difference from what is seen in a movie and how it really happens. My deepest sympathy goes out the family and friends of Nick Berg. It is terrible that an American had to suffer in this manner while trying to help build another country.

Posted by: Marci at May 19, 2004 08:00 PM

Sorry Marci, but what you've just said is merely deception. The video is a fake. The guy doing the cutting is clean of blood, he should've been covered in blood but isn't. By what amazing miracle is it that the knife blade is still clean of any blood even during the cutting of the neck??? there should be blood all over the cutting-man's hand, but there isn't. None on his clothes either. Even a butcher cutting up a dead carcass is going to get spashed with blood but Mr Teflon The Cutting Man stays all neat, clean, and spotless. Perhaps in your world Nick Berg must've been some kind of extreme anaemic and Mr Teflon The Cutting Man has a magical self-cleaning effect. LMFAO Nick Berg's face shows no change in expression AT ALL when they grab his head from behind and push him to the floor. And, I'm sorry, but how do you cut someone's head off without them moving at all? Not even due to the pain???
The time sequence is all messed up. Too many faults. I've examined and studied it frame by frame. During a couple of quieter seconds of audio, if you have good speakers it's possible to hear somebody speaking English (it sounded like "...will be done") in the last few seconds. Also a guy with a green US military cap pokes his head around a corner for a few frames. THE NICK BERG VIDEO IS A FAKE.
Sadly Marci, that's just the way it is.

Posted by: Mike Febers at May 20, 2004 08:08 AM

Let's look at the beliefs of those who keep saying that the Nick Berg Video isn't a hoax or cover-up about how he really died, or who did it.
According to their version of reality they believe the following;

1) Living human beings don't struggle or move in the slightest while somebody is busy trying to cut their head off.

2) Its perfectly normal that when a living humans head is cut off that there is hardly any blood at all. No more than two cups worth at most.

3) Cutting a living humans head off, it is perfectly normal for the blade to remain almost completely unstained by any blood, and there is never any blood splashed all over the arms and hands of the person doing the cutting.

4) Its perfectly normal for a living person to show absolutely no facial expression while having their head sawed-off.

5) Unlike other living creatures, living humans always appear completely dead prior to having their head hacked-off.

6) Unlike other living creatures, humans have two kinds of blood circulation when their limbs are cut-off there are always huge quantities of blood spraying around, but when they heads are cut-off they hardly bleed at all.

7) Unlike other living creatures, when a human suffers severe head trauma or has their head cut-off they never have muscle convulsions or show any other reflex actions in response to the injury.

8) Unlike other living creatures, humans who are being killed can scream and yell without moving their mouth or any other facial muscle, and do this so well that they appear completely dead already. It's such a problem that to achieve "realism" the screaming and yelling must be dubbed onto recordings instead..and just to make sure of "realism" the screaming and yelling must be dubbed so as to start on all video recordings several long seconds before anything else happens and while everyone is still standing around posing..... but this is completely normal.

9) When trying to hide their identitities, all terrorists wear masks, but just to make sure everyone knows who to credit, the masked terrorists who are trying to hide their identity also sign their name onto any videos that they release. This is the standard operating method of hiding their identity while making sure that everyone knows who the fuck they are. There is no contradiction in this, and it is meant to make things a little easier for the CIA these days as we all know how incompetent they've become recently. (Yes, the terror-ists really feel sorry for the CIA's recent fuck-ups about mistaking British-made artillery-balloon trucks for Mobile Biowarfare Labs, and not being able to find Osama).

10) Many terror-ists are vampires. Yes, it's hard to believe to the rest of us, but this is a firm belief of the Bushwankers under Prezident Shrub. You see according to their view of the world, these raghead terror-ists include guys like Al Zaqwari who although being previously dead (killed in Fallujah in April 2003 according to the CIA), he has been able to RISE FROM THE GRAVE and regrow a new leg to replace his old prosthetic one just in time to help his old ally Prezident Shrub out of a bit of jam due to some messy torture scandal in Iraq recently. Like other terror-ists, he recently made a video-clip with him wearing a mask to hide his identity while making sure that everyone knew who-fuck-he-is by putting his name on the credits.

11) The US-military-run Abu Graib prison in Baghdad has yellow walls identical to those in the background of the video, but this is just a coincidence. Among the Abu Graib prison scandal pictures, pfc Lyndie England is sitting upon a white plastic chair that is exactly identical to the white plastic chair that Nick Berg is sitting upon in the video, but this is just a coincidence. In Abu Graib prison, as in most other US-military-run prisons, the standard prisoner uniform is an orange jumpsuit identical in appearance to the orange jumpsuit of military appearance worn by Nick Berg in the video, but this is just a coincidence. Although it does seem rather beyond the realms of belief that there could be so many coincidentally identical features in the video that are identical to those of Abu Graib prison,and though perhaps being a trillions-to-one longshot to have so many identical details...well, these things happen quite often you know...

Thank you for your time in reading this, and I hope that it will help to explain the strange delusions of the Bushwanker culture for you.

Posted by: Chris at May 21, 2004 10:59 AM

Hello My name is Anthony and Im 15 years old. I am sickened by that fact that Nick Berg was Decapitated.
BUT Im more sickened that anyone would ever want to watch it. That would be the most disgusting thing to
see. I think that unless u are a sick idiot you would not even think of watching suck a horrific video. GROSS

Posted by: Anthony at May 23, 2004 11:55 PM

When I saw the video the first time, I ALMOST thought it was real as that's what the TV news and newspapers said. Even the first copy of the video I downloaded looked real, just cheaply made. Then I found out that the copy that I downloaded wasn't the full version. Mine was only 2 minutes long and was cut very short at the end. I looked all over the internet for another longer version and downloaded one that 5minutes and 40seconds long, and when I watched it, I was blown away by how we'd all been conned! It was easy to see that it wasn't real. The Nick Berg guy didn't struggle even though on some forums there are these lying asssholes who say that there's heaps of blood and screaming and that he begs for mercy but THEY LIED! The guy was dead already. You could easy see it. Almost no blood comapred to if you really cut somebody's head off. He didn't struggle as he was ALREADY DEAD. The assholes like jappy and ken_from_dublin are just joining in on a cover-up. THEY'RE LYING THROUGH THE TEETH. If you see anyone on a forum anywhere saying that the Nick Berg video is real, you tell they're liars, as it's as plain as day they're lying. Like this "Anthony" above; he's probably a Bush-shill paid $12-hour to push a pile of lies onto the rest of us. You bastards who keep lying and saying the Nick Berg video is real and trying to con everyone. I hope when they comes they hang you too. I reckon they killed Nick Berg to get at his dad. USA is being turned into a police state run by gangsters and tortorers. Everyone is getting conned by a lot of liars.

Posted by: Alan at May 24, 2004 03:36 AM

The govt naturally enough never lies right? I mean they ALWAYS tell the truth dont they? They never, ever lie and the people working for the govt are the most honest law-abiding human beings on the planet?

Therefore just because the govt is trying to convince everyone that this video is real, while at the same time has paid-for-liars posting on all the big English-language internet forums, and randomly on other smaller sites like this one, all trying to tell us the video is real but we shouldn't watch it, and think about poor Nicholas Berg's family, all saying "please don't watch it"...then we should all believe the US govt and never bother to think for ourselves or see for ourselves?

Bullshit.

Ever heard of "Northwoods"

You did hear about the FBI protecting murderers while framing innocents didn't you? Big scandal a while ago.

Know about the Bovine Growth Hormone problems that were covered-up by the FDA to protect Monsanto?

The US govt is the world's most productive lie-making machine, but the bastards running the show never bother to check if their lies will stand-up to scrutiny.

This hoax video is a perfect example; it doesn't stand-up to close scrutiny. Not even a little bit.

Even the title on the video is itself saying the video is a fake. It says, "Musab al-Zarqawi slaughtering an American", which is impossible because Abu Musab al-Zarqawi has been dead for over a year already. That's according to the BBC, MSNBC, and even what the CIA themselves said at the time. Dead men don't make videos, and they don't come back to life and kidnap people either.

The only two reasons why the mainstream conservative news-media have not countered the US govt's claims about this video. 1) Nobody wants to rock the boat unless they can ensure it's going to be acceptable or worthwhile (eg. profitable and truly damning of any of the US govt's attacks that might be forthcoming from it).... 2) It does take a few days to write a good article on the subject and that's what I'm trying to do now, and no doubt many other writers are trying to do.

Be assured that the English-language mainstream news-media will eventually slam this video as a hoax and a cover-up of an even worse crime. Mainstream news-media in other nations have already begun to criticize the video as a hoax, including such conservative publications as the Asia Times. Medical experts in Italy, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand have already publicly said that the video portrayal of Nicholas Berg's death was faked. The body was already dead. Who really killed that young man? It wasn't an undead terrorist come-back-to-life that's for sure despite what the US govt is trying to push. More likely poor Nick Berg was a victim of torture gone wrong at Abu Graib, and a cover-up afterwards was made to blame a mythical already-dead terrorist, and distract attention from the Abu Graib scandal as well as stonewall his parents from investigating too closely. The evidence that has begun to turn-up is pointing increasingly in that direction.
((Btw, I gave a valid email address but your script didn't accept it as valid . Only ever had that problem on one other site, and it really was my true email address))

Posted by: John Inoue at May 24, 2004 07:55 AM

The suspicions about the Nick Berg video have finally been published in a mainstream newspaper.

The Sydney Morning Herald - a very conservative newspaper.

http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2004/05/28/1085641717320.html

WHO KILLED NICK BERG?

Iraq in flames, Washington an object of disgust. What to do? At this pivotal moment, CNN and Fox News are tipped off to a clip of an American citizen being beheaded. The victim is a 26-year-old idealist from Pennsylvania, Nick Berg. Despite the perpetrators being masked, the vile deed is deemed the work of al-Qaeda.

The clip was first "discovered" on an Islamic website in Malaysia. Its Arabic title reads "Abu Musab al-Zarqawi shown slaughtering an American". al-Zarqawi is a 38-year-old Jordanian militant who fled to Iraq in 2001 after reportedly losing a leg in a US missile strike. al-Zarqawi's face is widely known and he credits himself with the deed, so why a mask?

The timing of the video was brilliant for the West. Media pundits judged the crime a deeper evil than the systemic torture of innocent Iraqis. But some people sensed a rat. But if it was not al-Qaeda, who? Surely not Uncle Sam. That's too dark, even for the CIA.

While this video shows a human body having its head chopped off, it does not necessarily portray an act of murder. Berg's headless body was found dumped on a Baghdad roadside on Saturday, May 8.

Three days later, the "live beheading" clip was uploaded from London to the Malaysian website http://www.al-ansar.biz. The statement in the video is signed with al-Zarqawi's name, dated May 11. After Fox News and CNN had downloaded the video, it disappeared from the site.

As no autopsy is available, little is known about the state of the body. No time of death, no forensic analysis. On April 6, a month before the discovery of the corpse, Berg had been released from custody. But whose custody?

Dan Senor, adviser to the US Presidential Envoy in Iraq, has said Berg was never held by the Americans. Brigadier General Mark Kimmitt, the Coalition's deputy head of operations, claimed he was in the custody of Iraqi police from March 24 to April 6. However, the Iraqi police chief, Major-General Mohammed Khair al-Barhawi, told Associated Press "the Iraqi police never arrested the slain American".

Berg's family are certain his jailers were the US military. His father, Michael, had been told so by the FBI. He has produced an email from a US consular official in Baghdad, Beth Payne, confirming that his son was in the hands of the US. (Later, another official said this was an error.) On April 5 in the Philadelphia office of the US Supreme Court, the Berg family had launched an action against the US military for false imprisonment. The following day, Berg was released.

The issue of custody is significant; in his final moments on screen Berg is wearing an orange jumpsuit of the kind familiar from Guantanamo Bay. The official reasons for Berg's arrest were "lack of documentation" and "suspicious activities". He carried sensitive electronic equipment for which he lacked documents. In custody, he was visited three times by the FBI. Such interviews are bound to have been recorded but no transcripts have been produced.

After his release, Berg travelled to Baghdad and the $30-a-night Al-Fanar Hotel. A fellow hotel guest told Newsday that Berg recounted how Iraqi police had quickly handed him to US authorities in Mosul and that he had been held the entire time in a jail where his guards were US soldiers.

Berg was in Baghdad to win contracts for his family firm, Prometheus Methods Tower Service, a provider of communications facilities. He often "worked at night on a tower in the neighbourhood of Abu Ghraib", according to The New York Times.

The family last heard from him on April 9, when he said he was planning to leave Iraq via Kuwait as soon as it was safe. Berg was last seen walking with his bags the following day, apparently hoping to find his way through the turmoil engulfing the city and make it to the border.

On March 7, 2004, two weeks before his arrest in Mosul, an "enemies list" had been posted on a conservative website, FreeRepublic.com. The list was compiled from signatories to an anti-war petition, and its implied purpose was to encourage readers to harass those it named.

Berg's father was on that list, as was the family firm, Prometheus. This information may well have triggered the arrest of Berg in Iraq.

Berg's politics are not clear. His father, Michael, has described his son as a "staunch supporter" of US President George Bush. Friends said Nick believed he could help rebuild Iraq "one radio tower at a time". According to The New York Times, he was attracted to the Hebrew concept of tikkun olam - healing the world through social action.

The first few seconds of the video shows Berg sitting on a white plastic chair in an orange jumpsuit. He speaks directly to the camera in a relaxed way: "My name is Nick Berg ... I have a brother and sister, David and Sara. I live in Philadelphia." His white chair is identical to those in the photographs of the Abu Ghraib prison tortures, but such chairs are probably common in Iraq. It is highly likely that this segment is edited from the interrogation of Berg during his 13 days of custody.

In the next scene, Berg is sitting on the floor with five masked figures standing behind him. We do not see the figures enter. Berg looks lifeless, though his body appears to make slight movements. A man reads a lengthy Arabic statement in a passionless monotone. He is identified as "Abu Musab al-Zarqawi", a Jordanian associate of Osama bin Laden who is tied to dozens of terrorist acts.

Yet a leaflet recently circulated in Falluja, by no means a reliable source, claims that al-Zarqawi was killed in the Sulaimaniya mountains of northern Iraq during a US bombing. A US military report last month has claimed al-Zarqawi was killed in the bombing of Falluja.

Also, the US Secretary of State, Colin Powell, has said that al-Zarqawi was fitted with a prosthetic leg in a Baghdad hospital, yet the tape shows no evidence of a limp. CNN staff familiar with al-Zarqawi's voice have been quoted as saying the voice does not sound like his.

Among the many curiosities raised on the web about the fanatical five are:

They are well-fed, fidgety, and reveal glimpses of white skin.

Their Arabic is heavily accented (Russian, Jordanian, Egyptian).

An aside in Russian had been translated as "do it quickly".

One character wears wears bulky white tennis shoes.

The man on the far left stands in the familiar "at ease" military posture.

The men's scarves are worn and tied by people who "haven't a clue", says conspiracy theorist Hector Carreon, like actors in Hollywood movies.

There is even a voice at the end that seems to ask in English, "How will it be done?" [http://www.aztlan.net/nick_berg_how_done.htm]

None of this proves a grand conspiracy, but it does raise questions. In the final segment of the tape, Berg is thrown to the ground, but doesn't move. During the decapitation, starting at the front of the throat, there is little sign of blood. The scream is wildly out of sync, sounds female, and is obviously dubbed.

Dr John Simpson, executive director for surgical affairs at the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, told Ritt Goldstein of the Asia Times, "I would have thought that all the people in the vicinity would have been covered in blood, in a matter of seconds ... if it [the video] was genuine".

Simpson agrees with other experts who find it highly probable that Berg had died before his decapitation.

But there is still the problem of Berg's slight body movements while sitting on the floor, before the beheading. According to a blogger (internet diarist), Nick Possum, "this footage was subsequently modified frame by frame to make Berg's body move very occasionally". Apparently, this can be achieved with "commonly available software". [http://www.brushtail.com.au/nick_berg_hypothesis.html]

Possum believes "the available evidence surrounding the case suggests that it was a 'black operation' by US psychological warfare specialists ... to provide the media with a moral relativity argument to counter the adverse publicity over torture at Abu Ghraib". The use of FBI footage in the opening sequence, if confirmed, suggests the involvement of high-level US Government operatives.

I do not know who killed Nick Berg, or how he died. But there's something fishy about this video.

In the end, the question is: who killed Nick Berg, and why?

Posted by: John Inoue at May 29, 2004 05:34 PM

In comparison to the more recent executions of hostages committed in the Middle-East by sympathizers to the Iraqi resistance, the Nick Berg video really does look fake.

The execution of the South Korean man was all too real. The victim pleaded for his life because he was alive. The video quality is as high you would expect from modern digital video-cameras that are common everywhere (no attempt to hide trickery through deliberate low quality images).

There was no fake-sounding Allah Akbars repeated as if killing somebody was a satanic rite, instead the killers seem both sad and determined.

The killers don't sign their names, or use the name of an already known to be dead terrorist (as is the case with the Nick Berg video).

There are no weird time discrepancies or completely out-of-synch fake screams and dubbed chanting.

The real terrorists are proper followers of Islam, they are deadly serious and they do not muck around with chants or pretentions of religiousity. They kill in the name of defending their land and the people of Iraq from foreign invaders, but they don't make a big show of the killing act, because when you really cut off somebody's head while they are alive there is blood spraying everywhere, even the camera lens would've been covered in blood, so they don't video-tape the execution itself.

They are showing that real terrorists that are doing real executions don't act like those in the US-military propaganda - they're more dangerous, and they have access to the same quality of video-cameras as everyone else, and they don't need to play games with dubbing the sound or editing the video with gaps of many hours (as happens with the NIck Berg video hoax)

Posted by: John Inoue at June 23, 2004 05:25 AM

Posted by: John Inoue at June 28, 2004 07:23 PM